Many technical terms related to crypto markets are used among insiders: two of them, closely related to each other, are bull run and ATH.
Three major bull runs have already occurred in the past, during which the major cryptocurrencies have hit their ATHs.
Crypto bull runs and the reaching of ATHs
For a long time now, investors and speculators who buy into the financial markets by driving up prices are called bulls.
By definition, bulls are those investors who think that the market, or a specific asset, is ready to go up in price. In other words, they are those who take a bullish approach at any given time, and therefore buy in the hope of being able to resell at higher prices in the future.
In contrast, bearish people are called bears.
It is worth noting that bulls often turn into bears in times of panic, or bears turn into bulls in times of enthusiasm.
When a large number of bulls collectively move large amounts of capital to make purchases, this tends to have a positive impact on prices, causing them to rise. In cases where such a dynamic goes on for a long time it is called a bull run.
So far only three large bull runs lasting several months have occurred in the crypto markets. In all three cases they occurred the year after the one of the three Bitcoin halvings that have occurred to date, and in all three cases they have lasted more or less a year.
The first crypto bull run and ATH event
Bitcoin’s first halving occurred in 2012, when Ethereum did not yet exist. Indeed, the first big bull run, in 2013, specifically involved the price of Bitcoin, which rose in less than twelve months from about $10 to about $1,100.
The gain was nearly 11,000%, although the speculative bubble subsequently burst and in 2014-2015 the price returned to $150.
Bitcoin’s second halving occurred in 2016, which was the year after the creation of Ethereum but the year before the creation of BNB. The second big bull run, in 2017, mainly involved Ethereum, which went from $10 to $1,400 in less than twelve months.
To be fair, several altcoins already existed in 2017, so much so that some, such as Ripple (now XRP), recorded even bigger jumps. But many of those that made a bang in 2017-2018 later failed to return to those levels, XRP foremost among them.
The second halving occurred in 2020, with the third big bull run occurring in 2021. In this last big bull run it was mostly altcoins, such as BNB, Dogecoin, or Shiba Inu, that recorded stratospheric performances, far more than Bitcoin or Ethereum.
The next halving will take place in 2024, in the spring.
The All-Time-High (ATH)
ATH is trivially an acronym for All Time High, meaning literally the highest price of all time.
Specifically, when it comes to financial markets it refers to a value that is greater than all previous values of the same parameter or price of the same asset.
Bitcoin’s price hit its ATH on 10 November 2021, obviously in the midst of a bull run, when it briefly exceeded $69,000.
The ATH of ETH (Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency) was also recorded on 10 November 2021, almost at $4,900.
BNB’s price, on the other hand, touched its absolute all-time highs on 10 May, also in 2021, just below $690.
It is worth noting that XRP’s ATH remains that of 7 January 2018, namely of the previous big bull run, when it touched $3.4.
This means that it is not always the case that when a bull run is triggered in the crypto markets that all cryptocurrencies record a new ATH.
Indeed, almost all of those cryptocurrencies that were born after the 2017 bull run, but before the 2021 bull run, have had their highest prices recorded precisely in 2021, or at most in early 2022.
In contrast, among those that had already gone through the 2017 bull run are several that failed to return near the ATH in 2021. Ripple, which is now called XRP, but also Tron, Monero, Stellar, Bitcoin Cash, and so on.
When will the next bull run occur
No one knows when the next big bull run might trigger, but in theory it could start after Bitcoin’s next halving.
It is worth noting that back in 2020 the halving occurred in the spring, while for example in 2016 it was in the summer. In both cases, however, the bull run started either in December of that year or in January of the following year.
However, there is no certainty that Bitcoin’s halving of 2024 will produce a new big bull run in 2025, even though Bitcoin’s four-year cycles to date have always exhibited similar trends capable of affecting the performance of the entire crypto market.
In addition, there is also no certainty that, in the event of a new big bull run, the prices of major cryptocurrencies will make new ATHs.
For example, what happened to XRP during the last two bull runs could also happen to DOGE in the future, so there is no guarantee that prices should go up.
In addition, by now the price of Bitcoin has amply demonstrated that it is influenced by the monetary policies of central banks. In particular the US central bank, so the entire dynamics above may also be significantly affected in the future by decisions made by the Fed.